Photo by Aysia Marotta

The Britanys talk New York and being the “Worst Band in Bushwick”

The Britanys are a band from New York. The sound a little like The Strokes, but not too much like The Strokes, and they prefer other bands to The Strokes. They’re New York cool, as you will probably be able to tell. We chatted to Lucas about what they’ve been up to.

You’ve not released anything this year but what have you guys been up to? Have you been working on new material?
No, but we’ve been working on a record since January or so. 

Do you do anything else alongside the band?
Yeah. I work at a thrift shop. Steele was working at the humane society of NY and Jake just got let go. Steele and I have been doing the colouring on a book for Adam Green as well. 

The first time I had heard of you was after ‘Basketholder’ and the British press really jumped on The Strokes comparisons, I guess especially because you’re from New York… do you embrace that comparison, are they heroes of yours?
We were always more into The Libertines. You can’t control what people say.

I love New York especially going to Brooklyn and hanging out there. What’s your experience of growing up there, being a New Yorker and that?
Well I was born in San Francisco but my parents are from here. My dad is from New Jersey, but living anywhere kills the mystique for me at least. It’s got its own sort of magic though, for better or worse.

Can you talk us through some of your favourite spots in NYC to hang out, shop, eat etc.
I don’t know if it’s kosher to give out names or whether I have the authority, but Bushwick… anything outside is trash.

Now last year, you released a sort of extended EP, with 1-833-IDK-HTBA, with 6 full songs and regular intermissions. What’s the thinking behind these intermissions?
I don’t know if there was much building. It mostly came around just messing around with the songs on my phone and a chance at experimenting with different instrumentation, killing time mostly.

It is funny seeing bands with stylists or vocal coaches.

“Worst Band in Bushwick”, eh? How did you earn that coveted title?
I was at a bar crawl or something and someone introduced me as someone who plays in a band and I was like yeah, we’re the worst band in Bushwick… it just kind of stuck. I thought it was funny. 

Being from that Brooklyn area, you’re obviously in quite a saturated music population, which can have both its benefits and challenges. But what, do you feel, is the best part about being a band from New York City in this era of music?
It’s more of an honour if anything. I feel there’s a lot of music that doesn’t even get that chance. 

There’s no shortage of good stories about the NYC music scene… Tell me about the worst show you ever played down there.
We’ve played a lot of random shows over the years, but nothing really stands out as worst. I have had sound guys try and fight me and whatnot though.

Do you think rock n’ roll takes itself a little too seriously in this day and age?
Maybe? It is funny seeing bands with stylists or vocal coaches.

One last, super important question. As far as Brittanys go, who takes the gold? Brittany Murphy, Brittany Howard or Brtiney Spears?
Brittany Keiser.